Tonight’s debate was a real eye opener to many–and to Democrats, it was like having a long-lost brother come home. President Obama was the feisty, clear-eyed, fight-for-his-principals guy who didn’t attend the first debate in Denver. But last night, he was back.
And Gov. Romney again spent most of the night misstating his position or distorting the president’s.
Here’s some of the facts voters should know:
–Gov. Romney claimed he’d balanced every budget while Gov. of Massachusettes “without raising taxes.” First, state law requires a balanced budget, and while Romney did not increase income taxes, he dramatically increased fees by hundreds of millions of dollars, according to Factcheck.org. It notes he also cut state aid to local cities and towns and the Massachusettes Municipal Association said those cuts “forced communities statewide to cut services and raise local taxes and fees.”
–Gov. Romney brags that he had the “best jobs record in a decade” during his governorship. Factcheck says Massachusettes ranked 47th of 50 states in job creation during his 4 years as governor. By comparison, Massachusettes ranked 37th in job growth under his predecessor, Republican Jane Swift, and it ranked 10th in the first term of his successor, Democrat Deval Patrick. Factcheck concludes: “By that meaure, Romney had the worst record in a decade.”
–At 10:40, Eastern time, during the debate, Salon.com notes Romney claimed Obama had “quadrupled regulations on businesses” in the last four years. Salon notes that both Bloomberg and Politico have both reported Obama put 5 percent fewer regulations on business than George W. Bush.
–At 9:50 Eastern time, Romney said he didn’t want Washington bureaucrats telling women if they can have access to birth control. But Salon notes that he has expressed support for the Blunt amendment that would allow employers to chose if they cover birth control in their health plans or not, and his vice president is one of Congress’ most conservative members on reproductive rights.
–At 9:30, Romney said he had seen a recent study showing President Obama will raise taxes on the middle class by $4,000. Factcheck calls that “nonesense” and Salon said the study “doesn’t even claim what Romney says it does.”
There’s much more, but those are among the first fact-checking points tonight.
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Bio: Jana Bommersbach is an acclaimed and respected journalist whose work has encompassed every facet of the profession: she's been a reporter and editor for both weekly and daily newspapers; she's written a book and is a major contributor to an anthology; she's written columns and investigative stories for magazines; she's appeared on television with both political commentaries and investigative stories.